Getting Dialed in with the Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa Shoe
Getting Dialed in with the Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa Shoe: When choosing a shoe for mountain biking, there are endless options and endless varieties. Most of the gear I ride in general, have multiple purposes to keep the gear closet in check. These shoes hit that sweet spot of on bike performance and off bike walkability. So with that, I want a shoe that toes the line with being rigid and providing all day comfort. The Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa checked a ton of boxes.
- Boa® Closure System for micro-adjustment, and secure and consistent hold
- Synthetic weather-resistant micro-perforated upper; Perforated EVA tongue with mesh overlay
- Textile lining; Stealth® C4™ rubber outsole for unbeatable grip
- Durable lightweight EVA midsole; Enjoy the comfort and performance of OrthoLite® sockliner
- Clipless style; Non-slip heel cup; Stiff carbon-infused nylon shank
- Regular Fit
After the shoe loosened up a bit, the overall fit was stellar. When I personally look for a shoe I have to contend with having skinny feet, so most shoes I wear are a bit too wide. I would classify these shoes as average with a TINY bit more room for wider feet. Not enough to make me feel like my feet were rolling around in there and definitely didn’t give me any hotspots. We have the Boa Closure System and a small velcro strap to thank for the great adjustability.
"The heel cup has fabric like fish scales. The fabric is smooth when sticking your foot in but locks it in reverse through the pedal stroke."
Five Ten combined its stiffest sole with unbeatable grip from their Stealth C4 rubber outsole. With this type of grip the Five Ten Kestrel gets truly universal. I would feel confident in riding this shoe on a long distance bikepacking trip all the way to a rip around a resort. Oddly enough, this is their stiffest sole but it didn’t make hiking a chore. It did have a small amount of flex which kept you from feeling like you’re walking in a ski boot. The clipless cleat platform on the bottom of the shoe is rather large too, approx. 95mm x 43mm (size 11US), making it easy to work with a variety of cleats and pedals. You are also looking at 35mm of track for the cleat to move fore and aft.
Boa IP1 Dial
I’m probably a little late to the party but these shoes are only my 3rd shoes equipped with a Boa dial. Read more about my running shoes here. I was at one time in my naive life skeptical of the fit and functionality of the Boa dial. Could I trust them on long trips? Are they comfortable in a multitude of scenarios? Yea, yea yea… They are the greatest since sliced bread, I am a convert.
So when I got my paws on the Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa, I knew I was in for a treat. The dial securely snugs down the shoe evenly over the top of the foot. In the past I have had shoes create sores spots on the boney upper part of my foot, these didn’t do that. The amount of cushion provided and the placement of the Boa wire, made the shoes comfortable right out of the box. The L Series dial was perfected in Boa’s Performance Fit Lab to provide the perfect tension and weight for low cut shoes. They tighten with a few clicks and instantly release when the dial is popped. Perfect when when you reach camp and want to stick your tired feet in the creek.
I would say breathability and weight are my only two gripes. The shoes has some vent holes on the toe and side which provided some breathability but a mesh upper may be a cool option in the future. As far as weight is concerned, this is a stout trail shoe and I know that. The rugged outsole is probably the culprit and in most scenarios, I’m ok with that.